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Track & Field Concludes Day One of SoCon Championships

Sophomore Meghan Morton won the women's javelin with her throw of 42.84m.

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April 21, 2012

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Western Carolina's men's and women's track & field teams began competition in the 2012 Southern Conference Track & Field Championships Saturday, hosted by WCU at the Catamount Athletic Complex. WCU currently sits in second on the women's side with 41 points while the men's team is in third with 40 points. Appalachian State leads the men's and women's with the finals of most of the track events scheduled for Sunday.

 In the men's hammer throw, senior Jamie Van Pelt set a school record with his winning throw of 58.84m, breaking the 13-year-old previous record set by Phillip Johnson (183-8) back in 1999. Teammate Jonathan Newton also had a personal best with his throw of 49.81m. Van Pelt also earned five points for WCU with his fourth place finish in the javelin with his personal best throw of 57.70m. On the women's side, freshman Alisha Bradshaw placed second with her personal best throw of 50.05m.

Sophomore Meghan Morton won the javelin event - her fourth win of the outdoor season - with her throw of 42.84m. Senior Summer Hughes earned a third place finish with her personal best throw of 41.14m.

In the women's long jump, Western Carolina picked up two top-four finishes as teammates Jettana Thomas (5.81m) finished third while Raven Parrish placed fourth with her jump of 5.68m.

With many of the track events running preliminary races on Saturday, WCU put three in the finals of the women's 100-meter hurdles. Jettana Thomas (14.72), Shermell Wilkins (14.76) and Xaviera Bass (15.23) will participate in the final on Sunday afternoon. In the men's event, four Catamounts qualified for the finals led by freshman Abraham Faison who ran the second fastest time (14.91). Tyler Bentley (14.67), Marquis Bailey (14.80) and Sam Lusty (15.08) qualified for the finals. Faison also earned four points for the men's team with his fifth place finish in the long jump (6.81m).

In the men's 100-meter dash preliminaries, Willie Bowman placed second with his fastest time of the season of 10.83 with three other Catamounts (Ron Duncan - 10.84, Jeffery Hendricks - 10.88, Brandon Hairston - 10.86)earning spots in tomorrow's finals.

In the pole vault, junior Ashley Wala earned five points for the Catamounts with her season-best, fourth place finish clearing the bar successfully at 3.60m. Freshman Devyn Ressler also tallied a point for the Catamounts with her eighth place finish (3.30m). Ressler and classmate Cara June Elyea earned spots on the SoCon All-Freshmen team for their efforts in the pole vault. In the men's pole vault, Keith Leonard finished third with his finish of 4.75m.  

The men's 400-meter will be an important event for the Catamounts in the overall team portion of the meet as six of the eight qualified competitors are from Western Carolina with Benny Davis leading the way for WCU with his first place time of 48.03. Aaron Tribble (48.31) and Aaron Harris (48.51) round out the top-three times in the event. Davis also led the way in the 200-meter preliminary with his personal best time of 21.18.

In the men's 400-meter hurdles, WCU took four out of the top six spots in the preliminaries with Tyler Bentley running the fastest time in the event with his time of 53.44. Sam Lusty ran the second fastest time of 54.37.

At the end of the day one of the multi-events, junior Luke Burton currently sits in fourth place in the decathlon with 3232 points. Senior Jettana Thomas is in third place in the women's heptathlon with 2787 points.

The final day of the 2012 SoCon Track & Field Championships resume tomorrow with the completion of the decathlon and the heptathlon with the multi-events beginning at 9:15 a.m. The rest of the events begin with the women's discus, men's shot put and the triple jump beginning at noon. The final event will be the 4x400-meter relays beginning at 5:15 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 5:50 p.m.

Men's Team Results - Day 1

1. Appalachian State 60

2. Samford 55

3. Western Carolina 40

4. The Ctiadel 31

5. Chattanooga 17

6. Davidson 14

7. UNCG 11

8. Furman 6

9. Wofford -


Women's Team Results - Day 1

1. Appalachian State 61

T2. Western Carolina 41

T2. Samford 41

4. Elon 31

5. College of Charleston 24

6. Furman 16

7. Georgia Southern 14

8. UNCG 6

9. The Citadel --

10. Davidson --

11. Chattanooga --

12. Wofford -


Men's All-Freshman Team - Day 1


10,000m Run

Travis Alfaro, Western Carolina


Hammer Throw

Andy Benesh, Western Carolina


Long Jump

Abraham Faison, Western Carolina


Javelin Throw

Andy Benesh, Western Carolina


Women's All-Freshman Team - Day 1


Hammer Throw

Alisha Bradshaw, Western Carolina


Pole Vault

Devyn Ressler, Western Carolina

Cara June Elyea, Western Carolina